Remember the old days when people would know about a restaurant only from their friends or after visiting it once?
That is, however, a thing of the past now.
The last few decades have seen an influx of multiple apps and platforms that provide information about a restaurant. People even pre-book dine-in tables and place food orders from the comforts of their homes.
In this digital age, if a restaurant is not online yet, they are missing out on visibility and the additional perks that come with it.
It is vital to understand that the reach generated via online marketing is massive, and so is its ROI. In addition, it can also help you find and connect with clients directly and create a loyal fan base with ease.
If you have not started with digital marketing yet and are unsure about how to start, this article can be the one that you were looking for.
We discuss its importance, strategies to use, and different ways through which you can initiate your online journey.
How can digital marketing help restaurant owners?
As per the 2019 Restaurant Success Report by Toast, about one-third of restauranteurs named “Attracting and Retaining Customers” as one of the top challenges hindering their success in 2019.
As the F&B space gets more crowded with every passing day, there is a need to be innovative to gain a decent customer base.
About 58.4% of global population is now using social media sites.
It, therefore, goes without saying that there is a lot of scope regarding digital marketing and the ways it can help restaurant owners.
Here are some ways digital marketing helps restaurant owners -
Grow your brand
Showcase your brand
Digital marketing provides a great way to showcase your brand in a visual way through the use of videos, photos, animations, etc.
Create a social media presence to draw more visitors
With digital marketing, you get an opportunity to establish your brand’s identity in the social media world. Most famous restaurant brands have dedicated pages across each social media channel, enabling them to woo more visitors.
Understand audience behavior to plan marketing strategies
Like with most customer-facing businesses, the restaurant business is heavily dependent on how its audience will perceive the changes or the shifts they bring in. Understanding how your audience reacts to different scenarios is vital to plan future marketing campaigns.
Engage with customers
Most F&B businesses looking to secure a place in the digital world are seeking novel ways to improve customer engagement. Digital marketing is one of the vital tools that can help improve customer engagement.
Helps to be proactive in reviews
When it comes to customer reviews, there is a need to respond to them at the earliest. But you cannot do so before gathering enough data points to understand the context.
Utilizing digital marketing can enable you to garner enough background information, helping you to be proactive in reviews.
Gives access to customer feedback
Having access to customer feedback is invaluable for a restaurant brand.
So, an online platform like Momos that lets your customers share their honest feedback will enable them to be a proponent of your services.
Build customer loyalty
Digital marketing provides your brand with multiple opportunities to develop and build customer loyalty. For example, encouraging people to subscribe to your newsletter with benefits or follow your Instagram account to be top of mind, can help you build loyalty.
Digital marketing techniques for restaurants
There are multiple digital marketing strategies available for marketers to explore. But it is imperative for a restauranteur to understand their specific needs and accordingly develop a plan that can work for them.
Here are some digital marketing techniques that restaurant marketers use -
- Social media marketing - It is one of the most popular ways to generate interest amongst potential customers and improve your reach. About 200 million businesses make use of FB to reach new customers. Similarly, about 200 million businesses receive visits from users on Instagram every day. The story is similar for other channels like YouTube and even now TikTok
- Google My Business - Google allows listing your restaurant business under its My Business (now known as Google Business Profile) listing, which helps improve visibility.
- Online reviews - Garnering online reviews is an excellent way to invite new audience to try your offerings.
- Email marketing - A lot of people still use email as their primary form of communication, making it an excellent platform for generating interest for your restaurant business
- SMS marketing - SMS marketing is one of the best techniques for digital marketing for restaurants, offering high opening rates and instant attention.
Digital marketing strategies for restaurants to start with
Here are some digital marketing strategies you need to know to grow your business:
Setup the right channels
Optimize your website/app
Many brands prefer creating and maintaining their own specific website to gain traction. While this looks lucrative, it would only work if you have focused on optimizing it. Otherwise, it is also wise to be active on all the popular social media platforms.
Today, people are gradually or have already shifted from their large screens to smaller smartphone screens for most of their tasks. So, your website should be smartphone-compatible (mobile responsive) and have legible Call-To-Action (CTA) Buttons to capture audience interest.
With Momos microsite - we make it simple and easy to create and then automatically update a branded microsite - to help your customers easily order from you.
Engage on social media sites
One of the biggest proponents of digital marketing is social media.
From the days of Orkut, when only a few of us were using it, to today, when Meta rules the realm, we have seen social media taking massive strides. It is no longer a place for only posting photos but has quickly become a hub for companies to engage with their customers.
A restaurant brand can resolve queries, share insights, and also offer platform-specific discounts and offers to improve engagement on social media.
Momos chatbot resolves 75% of customer messages directly and automatically on social media accounts.
Work on local SEO
Restauranteurs often lack the drive to improve their website’s SEO score as they feel it is secondary to what they do. However, that is where they lose out on an opportunity to expand their business.
Optimizing your local SEO by appropriate keyword research, inviting customer reviews and designing your website tactfully can improve your reach significantly.
Try influencer marketing
Influencers are the new hot property in the market, and brands have been trying to use them for their digital marketing endeavors.
With social media gaining a lot of traction, it has led to a massive surge in individuals who term themselves as ‘influencers.’
You can partner with a mix of macro and micro-influencers to help expand your reach and improve your brand’s visibility.
Add professional food pictures
How do you define food on the internet without scrumptious images and videos of the same?
Simply put, you cannot.
You will need to showcase your ambiance and delectable cuisines to the world through visual media to woo potential customers into trying your brand.
For this, you can either do it yourself or hire a professional team to get you a host of enticing photographs that are postable across the internet.
Find your winning strategy
Understand customer value
Customer value refers to the satisfaction of customer experiences by performing a given action relative to the cost of that action.
For example, customers often see social media posts or marketing advertisements while deciding whether to visit your restaurant or that of your competitor.
So, it is important for you to understand your customer value, what makes them happy and use it to improve your digital presence.
Respond to online reviews
We all love positive reviews, but are they always guaranteed, especially when you are in the food business?
That doesn’t mean you will only filter positive reviews and respond to them. Responding to customer reviews is a way to acknowledge the time that they have taken out of their hectic schedule to write something about you.
Also, read - “Why is it essential to respond to customer reviews?”
Be in touch with other local businesses
A business cannot survive independently and needs to collaborate with others to gain the requisite traction.
For example, restaurant businesses often collaborate with other local companies to design digital events that are mutually beneficial and appeal to their audiences.
Promote offers and vouchers
We all love vouchers, discounts, and other exclusive offers as a customer. As a business, it is a golden opportunity to use these strategies within its digital marketing endeavors.
Create loyalty programs
Brands like Starbucks and others in the digital space have benefited heavily by starting loyalty programs.
These programs offer exclusive benefits to the members, which help increase sales and improve customer engagement seamlessly.
Use dashboards and analytic tools to measure results
Most brands in the restaurant space have started using different analytical tools and software to generate deeper insights for improved decision-making.
A solution such as that from Momos (BI and Analytics) can help garner the requisite data that would otherwise have gone under the floor without anyone noticing.
Read “Using Restaurant Data Analytics to Grow Revenue.”
Make it easy and cost-efficient
Digital marketing is cost-efficient.
In most cases, you need access to a handful of tools and a working internet connection to execute your strategies across the internet with aplomb. In contrast, offline advertisements often entail high one-time expenses on items, most of which are not reusable.
With Momos Growth Marketing - you can create ads in 5 clicks and track results end to end to know exactly how much sales are being generated for your dine-in digital marketing ads.
While restaurant marketing is a tough nut to crack, having the right resources can undoubtedly be of tremendous help. Start off with the basics, focus on the right channels and experiment to find your winning strategy!
It is why easy to use tools have started gaining importance and have quickly become a vital part of every business in this industry looking to make its presence felt.
Digital marketing is a continuous process requiring constant dedication and focus, which ensures you are continually scaling and reaching a wider audience with ease.
At Momos, we have growth marketing tools specifically built for restaurant businesses to make running ads easy and effective. Click here to learn more!